The Free Church of Scotland is in partnership with Operation Mobilisation (OM). This international movement mobilises people to live and share the Gospel of Jesus. One aspect of OM is the Ship Ministry where volunteers can be part of taking the gospel to the ends of the earth…by ship!
(The following blog, originally entitled Where are Christians in the chaos?, has been provided by OM).
By Seelan Govender
As OM’s Ship Ministry enters a new phase of expansion, CEO Seelan Govender, shares the motivation and inspiration behind the vision.
From skyrocketing energy prices, the war in Ukraine and a growing global food crisis, the world seems to be in chaos. Many of us feel anxious about what the future will hold.
Amid this chaos, how would you say the world characterises Christians?
Scripture tells us to always be prepared to give a reason for the hope that we have (1 Peter 3:15). Yet too often our conversation and outlook get caught up in the difficulties of circumstances and world events. But the truth is, we are the only people who can provide the hope that the world is yearning for. The question is, are we?
More than one-third of the world’s 7.7 billion people have never heard the gospel. There are still entire regions with no church. Whole communities have never experienced the transformative love of Jesus.
It is a serious wake-up call. Why is the hope and love of Christ not reaching these people? There are two simple reasons: they haven’t experienced deep personal investment and love from Jesus’ followers, and we haven’t reached them yet.
It was this conviction that made OM’s Ship Ministry realise that to be part of the solution to reach these people, we need a radical new vision: To go further, stay longer and engage more deeply in the communities we visit.
By 2050 it’s estimated that nearly 70% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. The mobility of OM’s Ship Ministry provides a unique platform to catalyse and motivate Jesus followers across the world. To encourage them in the heart they have for their cities and equip them to go beyond the walls of their church and neighbourhoods with the hope of Christ.
Our vision is for a fleet of smaller vessels to travel to places we haven’t been able to reach before. To focus on strategic regions and truly invest in the local grassroots Church.
We prayed and God answered in incredible ways. The pandemic brought us into a unique season where many smaller vessels became available and God enabled us to acquire our first ship of the new fleet, Doulos Hope (meaning servant of hope).
Doulos Hope is a small vessel, which means we can access places previously beyond our reach, such as along rivers in Southeast Asia. Home to around 70% of the world’s least-reached people, Doulos Hope’s focus here will enable deep, long-term engagement within these communities and support to its believers to see God’s Kingdom come.
And this isn’t a calling unique to us. It is a call to every follower of Christ. I have seen ordinary people create a ripple effect that leads to communities boldly sharing the gospel and I pray that we will see this work continue to grow.
I recently heard the testimony of Pastor Emmanuel who came from a community where idol worship and child sacrifice were common. Through God’s transformation and resources provided by OM’s Ship Ministry, there are now more than 200 local missionaries in a region that previously had only five.
We have been shown a radical love. So, in the face of a world in chaos, we can pray ambitiously and step out in faith, knowing that God will use us to share His hope with a broken world, as He brings about the restoration.
As we navigate the worries of life amidst the chaos, we may feel weak, ill-equipped and beyond capacity to answer the call to show others the hope only Christ can bring. Yet it is not a call we take up in our own strength, but in His and alongside other Christians.
Doulos Hope’s provision has been such a precious reminder that He is still in control despite everything. Jesus proclaimed “…take heart! I have overcome the world”. Through Jesus, we are the deeply loved children of the creator and are invited to join Him to bring about the flourishing of His Kingdom.
Be part of a global community taking God’s love to a broken world. Find out how you can be involved in OM’s Ship Ministry!